Greenfish Enters Land
Larjaw Enter Land
Tetrapod (Sandy Shores)
Skipjaw
Amphipod (Wetlands)
Salijaw
Snakelong (Rainforest)
Superjaw


GreenfishGreenfish Enters Land
By Armando Pedroza

Terrestrial life on Enod began near the rocky shores with the evolution of a lobe finned fish known to planet Enod as Greenfish. Greenfish lived near the surface of Enod's oceanic waters. It fed on small plants and organic materials. The constant cycles of drought, followed by heavy rainfall and fluctuation of sea levels forced these fish to find new survival adaptations. Greenfish apparently adapted to the unreliable conditions, and this lobed-finned fish with lungs prevailed. One adaptation for survival was its ability to use its fins to move from the land during low tides back into the water. Millions of years ago the fins began to evolve into appendages that would assist the animal in movement on land.

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Tetrapod (By Armando Pedroza)Niche 1 (Sandy shore)

Tetrapod

After millions of years, Greenfish's muscular fins became more specialized and began to evolve into muscular web-like appendages. These appendages provided the animal with mobility both on land and in water. This adaptation allowed tetrapod to search for food among the rocks and plants of Enod's sandy shores. The mouth became sophisticated and has transverse rows of teeth. These razor sharp teeth permitted the animal to feed on the plants found near the shore. Throughout the course of time these tetrapods would diversity into many niches.

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Niche 2 (Wetlands)

Amphipod

Amphipod is an ancestor of tetropod. It evolved millions of years ago as a result of new adaptations acquired for its survival. It inhabits the wetlands of Enod where it spends most of its time foraging for small plants and fish eggs. This animal has a narrow thin tail. The tail allows the animal to propel itself through Enod's creeks and rivers. A new evolutionary tissue provided it with protection from the exterior elements such as UV lights and hot temperatures. The new tissue helped the amphipods to retain moisture and to stabilize its internal functions.

Amphipods like shallow ponds, which are made by rain. Ponds often dry up in the summer which is beneficial to amphipods, because greenfish, which eat amphipod eggs and larvae, cannot live in these ponds. However, if amphipod eggs do not hatch and the larvae do not develop into adults in time, they can die when the pond dries up. Therefore, amphipods go between the uplands and the wetlands, like most amphibians found on planet Earth. In the breeding season and early summer, amphipods can be found in wetlands or in ponds.

AMPHIBIAN

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Niche 3 (Rainforest)

Snakelong

Snakelong evolved at about the same time as amphipod. Snakelong is apparently a descendant of tetrapod that adopted a burrowing lifestyle. After millions of years, some tetrapods began to lose function of their appendages as they moved into Enod's tropical rain forest. The animal began to elongate and became more narrow. Tetrapod evolved specialized muscles and bones that allowed the snake to move freely through plants and rocks. The moist skin cells differentiated into dry scales. The scales protected the animal from being injured. Snakelong's reproduction system of internal fertilization made snakelong very common on planet Enod.

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Larjaw Exits Water

By Edwin A. Rivas

The constant changes in Enod's ocean environment, forces its inhabitants to adapt or perish. Many of the ocean creatures met this unfortunate fate and vanished out of existence and memory. Only a few fossil remains have been found to make us aware of their existence. Those who were able to adapt to the changes managed to evolve into creatures that took full advantage of the lack of predators and abundant food supply. One of these creatures was the Larjaw fish.

The constant changes in the ocean's sea level (caused by the melting and freezing of the polar caps) exposed this fish to waters that were sometimes low in oxygen. Larjaw was forced to swim with its mouth wide open and close to the surface of the water, to try and absorb as much oxygen as it needed to survive. In the course of millions of years, it began to develop simple "lung like" organs that worked in conjunction with it gills extract oxygen from the water and the surface air. In time, it was able to spend increasingly longer periods of time out of water and would wallow in the mud covered shores of beaches and rivers. This was the beginning of an organism that became known as Skipjaw.

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Niche 1 (Muddy shore)

Skipjaw

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skipjaw (by Edwin A. Rivas)Skipjaw was named mainly for its ability to skip around on the muddy shores. It used its fins to propel itself across the slippery surfaces found along the shore during low tide. It spent hours searching for fish that had been trapped in small pools of water that were left behind when the tide receded. As time passed, its two front fins began to develop strength and agility. In time, skipjaw was able to increase the amount of time that it was able to spend out of the water. It began to rely more on its lung-like organs for breathing and less on the gills that it had used for millions of years.

Skipjaw's fins were another adaptation that helped it to survive in this new environment. Once streamlined for swimming, they were now required to sustain its body weight while out of the water. Their tips were slowly beginning to broaden to help keep it from sinking into the muddy shores. All these new physical activities led to the development of broader, stronger and more muscular appendages.

Skipjaw also changed its mating and reproduction habits. Once a creature of the depths, it now preferred to lay its eggs within the muddy shores where it spent most of it time hunting. This exposed the young to a dryer environment at a much earlier age.

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Niche 2 (Wetlands)

Salijaw

Salijaw out (By Edwin A. RivasSalijaw (Edwin A. Rivas)Over the course of 4 million years, skipjaw continued to evolve as it went about its daily life on the muddy Enod shorelines, every generation spending more time out of water and becoming more like the amphibians that are found on Earth today. Its body continued to change to take advantage of the natural resources that were found in its habitat.

As the population of skipjaw increased, competition for food became a problem. Soon, some of the members of the skipjaw colonies began to venture out into the drier environments. These pioneers were very successful in capturing the variety of small organisms and plant materials that they came across. These adventurers are what eventually evolved in the the creature that became know as Salijaw.

Salijaw's body structure was a direct result of countless generations of skipjaws venturing out into the drier Enod wetland. Their fin tips continued to broaden and became tough to protect it from the rocks and the hot soils that the Salijaws walked on. It now spent the most part of the day out of the water searching for small organisms and plant materials to eat. Its dark scaly skin had become harder and thicker to protect themselves from the environment and its enemies.

Since Salijaw spent most of the day out of the water, it had evolved a long and flat tail that helped to balance itself while it walked on the dry surfaces, as well as serving as a rudder while in the water.

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Niche 3 (Rainforest)

Superjaw

Superjaw (By Edwin A. Rivas)The wet rain forest floor and swamps are dominated by a species known as Superjaw. It was a direct descendant of the salijaw family. Its larger size and ferocious appetite, place it a the top of the food chain. It's long tail helped it balance itself on land and served as a powerful "oar" to propel itself while it swam. Its enormous size was a direct result of its diet. Superjaw is primarily a carnivore and does not hesitate to devour any smaller members of its own species may happen to cross its path.

Being cold blooded allowed super jaw to survive for long periods of time without eating. It spent long periods of time basking in the sun absorbing the Nub rays to help regulate its body temperature. Similar to Earth's amphibians, super jaw needs to regulate its body temperature in order for his digestive system to work properly. Once its optimum body temperature is reached, it hides in the rain forest to digest its food and wait for its next victim.

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This page was created by Armando Pedroza & Edwin A. Rivas. Click on the name to send us your comments!

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© 3-18-02 E. Rivas & A. Pedroza